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The importance of soft skills


Soft skills are increasingly becoming an important aspect of employability in all fields, not just in IT. Modern companies are looking for team-players who could get along with others at the workplace.


Why is it that soft skills are so important in the IT and IT-enabled services sectors? Because, according to S.R. Nair, managing director of Team Frontline, these sectors are highly team-centric and hence require high level of interpersonal skills.

Why is it that Malayalis, even highly skilled professionals, need training in soft skills? Because Malayalis have a reputation for being cynical, self-centred and not very polite. And, why is it that IT and ITES are so important to Malayalis? Because Malayalis have a weakness for white-collar jobs and IT and IT-related jobs jell with the Malayali mindset. So, Malayali professionals, who want to make it good in the IT-ITES sectors, need to acquire not just software skills but soft skills too.

Mr. Nair, who made a presentation at the opening of a five-day workshop on soft skills organised by Honda MindMine at Kerala Management Association hall on Monday, said that soft skills are increasingly becoming an important aspect of employability in all fields, not just in IT.

Modern companies are looking for team-players who could get along with others at the workplace.

For instance, in the IT field, a person heading a team today would be just a member of another team tomorrow and again the head of yet another team in the immediate future.

This requires, a lot of flexibility, interpersonal adjustments and communicability. Interpersonal relationships form a part of most soft skill training.

Speakers at the workshop pointed out that in order to fit individuals into this work scene, training in such soft skills as communication skills and interpersonal relations were necessary. Athri Rabindranath, a trainer, said soft skills encompassed a spectrum of skills and personality add-ons that made an individual amicable and influential. A soft-skilled person would exude attitude, confidence and a fine body language. Ajith Patel, Ernakulam Assistant Collector, pointed out that such skills gave an idea of the bigger picture of one’s work, goals and life itself. According to Venugopal C.Govind, leading chartered accountant and financial analyst, a positive mental outlook, a clear focus on the goal and the will to win were also part of the soft skills.

While these should come from within, training will greatly enhance them.

K.P.M. Basheer

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